One of the product lines that really caught my eye at MACNA 2014 were the jellyfish tanks at the Boyd Enterprises booth. Until recently, home aquarists did not have access to jellyfish systems. When I think of jellyfish systems, I think of them almost exclusively in the context of big public aquariums. I’ve been to a few really nice aquariums lately, and they all had these types of displays featuring different species of jellyfish.
As far as these tanks are concerned, it appears to be a Kreisel design, which is a circular tank that lightly tumbles the jellyfish using an air pump for water movement. The idea is to keep the jellies in suspension and prevent the animals from hitting the sides. Contact with the tank risks injury to the animals. The tanks come with an array of colored LEDs to make for a dazzling display.
The appeal of keeping jellyfish is clear (pardon the pun). They are mesmerizing to watch—sort of like a living lava lamp. The jellyfish sold as a part of this kit are moon jellies from the genus Aurelia. In the wild, they live about six months. There are several different species of Aurelia, though, and some species live longer than others. Some live only three to four months.
I was surprised to learn that moon jellies are pretty hardy overall. Despite their delicate form, they are tolerant of a wide range of temperatures and salinities. In addition, they can survive in turbid, dirty water and are straightforward to feed. In fact, there are reports that the ocean, due to increased temperatures and pollution, is encouraging an explosion in jellyfish populations.
One concern is the size moon jellies can attain. Despite their six-month life span, they can get absolutely huge! We are talking around 15 inches! I don’t know how to reconcile that growth potential with the size of the tanks here. Most of these models do not seem adequately sized for an animal that may achieve full size in a few months.
I am by no means an expert on jellyfish, but the idea of a jellyfish tank has always appealed to me. Is this tank something you would consider adding to your collection?